Windows Server gets ‘Robocopy’; auto-compression to transfer files faster

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Microsoft has hinted at a new feature for future editions of Windows. The software giant had a small event last week that they named the “Windows Server Summit.” During the event, Ned Pyle, the principal program manager, showed off new auto-compression features.

The feature will work on files before they are moved. Pyle demonstrated the feature by copying a 10GB file using a 1Gbps LAN and the ‘robocopy’ command. The file transferred in two minutes, and it showed that network saturation slowed it down.

Pyle then demonstrated the same transfer after applying a tag that used the file compression and made the same transfer in 23 seconds with almost no redlining on the network.

Integrating NetApp and Windows

The consensus was that Windows Server would soon apply the same compression to reduce the transfer time. He did not say when the feature would arrive, but he affirmed that it would drastically reduce transfer time for virtual images, CAD files, and RAW imaged files.

Jeff Woolsey, another principal program manager, also teased some integration between NetApp and Microsoft that will allow users to migrate the storage vendor’s array into Windows Server data stores.

He said that a user could start with a server that looks like NetApp, and it will be available on Windows. The coding will be done, eliminating the need to retrain staff. It will be NetApp in Windows.

An exciting demonstration

Pyle went on to show Server Message Block (SMB) over quick UDP Internet Connections (QUIC). QUICK is a protocol developed by Google to address performance problems that come up when TCP drops packets.

It achieves this by reducing the number of round trips a user needs when moving data. The protocol has usually been discussed as a way to make web pages load faster. It would seem Microsoft intends to do exciting things with the tech.